The Grisha Trilogy by Leight Bardugo (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising) and particularly the Six of Crows duology that unfolds in the same universe are some of the most popular YA fantasy series, following young, magically gifted characters navigating a hostile, war-torn world.
Early in 2019, a Netflix adaptation called Shadow and Bone was announced. As the clock is ticking for it to hit our screen, here’s what we know so far:
On Wednesday morning, Netflix revealed the 23rd of April as the official release date for Shadow and Bone. The release will be preceded by Bardugo’s new book, Rule of Wolves, set to be released on the 30th of March 2021 and focusing on fan-favorite Nikolai Lantsov.
In October 2019 Netflix and author Leigh Bardugo revealed six main cast members:
Jessie Mei Li is the heroine Alina Starkov, a soldier who finds that the fate of the world is in her hands due to her dormant magical power.
Ben Barnes as General Kirigan, whom Bardugo’s fans will know as the Darkling, a very mysterious character we can hardly talk about without spoiling anything.
Archie Renaux as Malyen Orestev, Alina’s childhood friend and one of her love interests in the trilogy.
Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker, a criminal mastermind.
Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, a spy working with Kaz.
Kit Young as Jesper Fahey, Kaz’s second in command, a funny boy with a fondness for gambling and his pistols.
Since then, many more cast members have been announced including Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik, a Grisha (the term used for magic users in Bardugo’s trilogy), and Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar, a witch-hunter and Nina’s unlikely love interest.
Other cast members include Sujaya Dasgupta as Zoya Nazyalensky, Daisy Head as Genya Safin, Zoa Wanamaker as Baghra, Luke Pasqualino as David, Gabrielle Brooks as Nadia, and Kevin Edon as the Apparat.
Of course, several favorite characters from The Grisha Trilogy and The Six of Crows are unaccounted for, such as prince Nikolai Lantsov and Wylan van Eck. Hopefully, a possible season 2 will make amends.
Netflix hasn’t released a full-length trailer with any major plot points yet. However, a month ago, Grisha fans were treated to a gorgeous teaser, featuring a white deer, a creature that is associated with strong magic in the trilogy. The teaser concludes with an ominous voice, presumably, the Darkling’s saying “you and I are going to change the world.”
With the release date just announced, we will likely have a full trailer sooner than later.
Netflix made the adventurous decision to make its Shadow and Bone (titled after the first book of the Grisha Trilogy) an adaptation of both Bardugo’s original trilogy and the duo that followed. The official Netflix page, reads: “Sinister forces plot against a young soldier when she reveals a magical power that might unite her world.”
This indicates that Season 1 will focus on the trilogy’s main character, Alina, as she interacts with her war-torn world and newfound magical powers. Her story follows the well-known formula of a clueless heroine unlocking her unknown potential, with the expected romantic subplots in the mix. The trilogy is unique for its creative mythology and atmosphere that is inspired by the Russian language and mythology.
However, Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Matthias, and Nina, are five of the six titular crows from the Six of Crows duology; an action-packed fantastical heist in a city that resembles Amsterdam. T
The Six of Crows takes place two years after the events of The Grisha Trilogy and the “crows” only interact minimally with characters from the original trilogy, to the point that one can read only Six of Crows and fully understand it without having read Shadow and Bone.
Their presence in what will most likely be an adaptation of Bardugo's Shadow and Bone book has perplexed a lot of fans, who cannot imagine how the two distinct plots will be interwoven together. But, while there is no official announcement yet, there’s plenty of material for one or more seasons beyond the first, so, likely, Netflix’s Shadow and Bone will simply set the scene for the Six of Crows heist to happen later.
Netflix has announced that Shadow and Bone is going to have 8 episodes. Definitely not many for the material meant to be covered, but hopefully, that's what the next seasons will be for.
Shadow and Bone is created by Eric Heissener, known for works such as Bird Box and the A Nightmare in Elm Street remake. Other executive producers include Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and Leigh Bardugo herself along with Pouya Shahbazian and others.
Netflix recently released posters and images of the cast in action. With the release date now announced, Netflix will likely reveal many more details, trailers, and teasers soon.
Shadow and Bone will be released on April 23, 2021.